As per the Oversight Board’s recommendation, Meta is ending an exception that allowed users to post publicly available private residential information of people on its platforms if it was publicly available elsewhere. Meta wrote; “As the board notes in this recommendation, removing the exception for ‘publicly available’ private residential information may limit the availability of this information on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Instagram when it is still publicly available elsewhere.”
Removing publicly available private residential information to prevent doxxing
The decision to remove the publicly available private residential information of users will help the victims of doxxing – an act of revealing a person’s personal information online with a malicious intent. As, Meta explained; “Access to residential addresses can be an important tool for journalism, civic activism, and other public discourse. However, exposing this information without consent can also create a risk to an individual’s safety and infringe on privacy.”
Any addresses that have been published in five or more news outlets or have been made available in public records were considered a publicly available address by Meta. There are rules in palace by Facebook and Instagram that prevent users from sharing private residential info. However, the platform took no action against posts containing publicly available addresses, until the social media giant had asked the Oversight Board to help shape its rules in June last year.
Rules for images outside the private homes
Meta has relaxed the rules of posting pictures of the outside of private homes. The company said; “The property depicted is the focus of a news story,” unless it’s “shared in the context of organizing protests against the resident.” It will also permit users to share the exterior of publicly-owned residencies belonging to “high ranking officials,” like heads of state or ambassadors, and will, conversely, allow users to organize protests at these locations. And while Meta says it will continue to let users post their own addresses, it won’t follow the Board’s recommendation to let other users reshare them, citing that it’s “often impossible to know whether a resident has consented to allowing another person to share their private address.”
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Source: Meta Blog